Spanish mackerel are in season and the Blue Moon fish people are bringing them to market. Spanish mackerel are not as pungently "fishy" as other mackerel, but they are certainly of that type. Their flesh is more of a cream color than the oily gray of Boston mackerel, for example, and they have beautiful silvery skin that is flecked with distinctive yellow dots.
This is a fish that children will eat, assuming it is very fresh and simply prepared. Last weekend at the market I saw Spanish mackerel for the first time this summer. Bill Maxwell, the farmer whose produce is far and away the best at the market (he has no website so this will have to do), had corn for the first time too. A simple summer meal came into focus, things that we love to eat, and that we hoped our little daughters would enjoy too.
Broiled Spanish mackerel - nothing but a slight brushing with good quality soy sauce, a sprinkle of salt after it comes out of the oven. You can blend mirin with the soy too, perhaps some grated ginger, and so on.
Boiled corn - I read somewhere that the best way to boil corn is to drop the corn in the boiling water and turn off the heat immediately, cover, and let the corn sit for a couple minutes, that's it. Based on these results, I'm a fan.
Kirby cucumbers with a bit of vinegar - thin slices, toss with a little salt, a small glug of white or rice vinegar, a little thinly sliced red onion. Toss again and let sit for at least a half hour.
That's the dish - an early summer dinner of broiled Spanish mackerel with corn and vinegary cucumbers. You be the sommelier - what wine would you serve with this meal? I'll let you know what we drank and how it worked out at the end of the comments.
Oh, by the way - the little daughters devoured their fish, and the vegetables too. And I hadn't even starved them for two days prior, or anything like that.
Thursday, July 08, 2010